Election officials in a key Pennsylvania county said early Wednesday morning that they would pause vote counting for about eight hours until they reconvened later in the day, an announcement that comes as the tightening presidential race comes down to a handful of battleground states.
Local news affiliate WESA reported that officials in Allegheny County, which encompasses Pittsburgh and some suburbs to the south of the city, moved to suspend vote counting around 1:30 a.m. EST. Officials are set to reconvene around 10 a.m.
The county is Pennsylvania's second-most populous and represents a stronghold of Democratic votes where former Vice President Joe Biden is hoping to see high turnout levels as he attempts to win back the Keystone State from President Trump, who narrowly defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton there in 2016.
Vote counts in Pennsylvania came in far slower than did counts in many other states Tuesday evening, due in large part to allowing all voters to cast mail-in ballots for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump was leading Biden by roughly 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania as of 2:10 a.m., though many votes in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and other Democratic strongholds remain uncounted.